City puts trash bins at Prince Street triangle in downtown Flushing

By Madina Toure

The city Department of Sanitation has placed city trash receptacles at the Prince Street triangle under the “Adopt A Basket” program after forcing the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce to remove trash bins donated by an area company to address the trash problem.

Crown Container Company installed the industrial-strength bins and agreed to empty them daily as a free community service to address the proliferation of trash at the intersection on Prince Street and 37th Avenue in downtown Flushing.

But after the Sanitation Department met with Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing), the chamber was forced to remove them. The trash bins each cost more than $600.

Simon Gershon, president of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce, reached the agreement Monday with Ignazio Terranova, who was representing the Sanitation commissioner, which was announced at a news conference at the triangle.

Gershon said the problem was solved thanks to the Flushing Chamber’s “persistent advocacy,” City Councilman Peter Koo’s (D-Flushing) “exceptional ability to influence the city bureaucracy” and the Downtown Flushing Transit Hub Business Improvement District’s operational expertise.

“Work is not finished, however. Business owners will continue to monitor the area and the Chamber will continue to advocate on their behalf,” Gershon said. “We are grateful to Mr. Terranova and the Department of Sanitation for following through on their commitments, and appreciate the time and attention they have paid to our neighborhood.”

For several months, the Flushing Chamber had been working to address the garbage problem at the Prince Street Triangle after business owners in the area complained about receiving fines from city inspectors due to the trash accumulating at the intersection and blowing in front of adjacent storefronts.

Another member of the Flushing Chamber, GW Printing, designed and printed the colorful labels asking people to “Keep Flushing Beautiful” in English and Chinese.

The Sanitation Department had issued an ultimatum May 16 that forced Crown Container to remove the donated bins from the triangle. David Antonacci, Crown Container’s owner, said the company was willing to help keep Flushing clean however possible.

“The New York City Department of Sanitation has assured the community that they will take care of the situation, so at this time we have removed our pails in order to let Sanitation do their job and help us keep Flushing clean,” Antonacci said.

Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtoure@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.